Insomnium, In Mourning, Kvaen in Frankfurt

24.11.2023 Frankfurt Batschkapp, Germany

This night at the Batschkapp was firmly in Nordic hands: With Kvaen and In Mourning from Sweden as well as the Finnish melodic deathers Insomnium, three promising acts took to the stage, attracting many fans of Scandinavian death to Frankfurt’s traditional club on a Friday evening.

KVAEN opened the evening in front of an impressive crowd and in turn they impressed the fans with their powerful playing and committed stage acting: the musicians were constantly on the move and sparks were flying to the audience after just a few notes. Originally a one-man-project, mastermind Jakob Björnfot has gathered some really well-chosen session musicians who perform Kvaen’s songs with boundless dedication and precision. Unfortunately, the Swedes finished after just under 40 minutes and it’s been a while since I’ve seen such a convincing opener. You’ll certainly get a lot more from Kvaen in the future – respect !!!

Setlist KVAEN:
Sulphur Fire
The Great Below
In Silence
Damnations Jaw
The Funeral Pyre
Revenge By Fire

It was now IN MOURNING’s turn and they, too, were full of enthusiasm and therefore took the now numerous fans by storm. The sound was very powerful and peppered with the finest melodies, thanks to the Swedes’ sophisticated playing. You could clearly tell from their sound that the band featured three guitarists and that they use it for the benefit of the song structure.


In Mourning (7)

In addition to guitarist and lead singer Tobias Netzell, second guitarist Björn Pettersson also contributed convincing and expressive lead and backing vocals. This was a little confusing at first, as it wasn’t exactly clear who was the actual lead singer. The fans celebrated In Mourning and the atmosphere reached its absolute peak towards the middle of the set, when the Swedes really got every fan on their side with the brilliant “The Smoke”. With the ultra-long and melodic “Colossus”, In Mourning ended a convincing and emotional performance. We can only hope that we’ll get to see them live again soon. Hats off !!!

The Broken Orbit
The Smoke

After a short changeover, it was INSOMNIUM’s turn and the now well warmed-up fans greeted mastermind Niilo Sevänen and his boys loudly. The Finns opened their gig with the powerful and playful “1696” and immediately got the audience moving. The fans supported the band unconditionally and were rewarded with classics like “Ephemeral” or “Pale Morning Star”. The regular guitarist Jani Liimatainen was replaced by Omnium Gatherum guitarist Nick Cordle, who did an outstanding job and fit seamlessly into the band, so that the songs were all played as one. Unfortunately, the concert wasn’t quite sold out tonight, but the fans made full use of the extra space and kept the atmosphere high.

Insomnium showed all their class and convinced with a good performance. Singer Niilo had the crowd fully under control; the two guitarists Markus Vanhala and Nick Cordle constantly switched sides and kept contact with the audience. Markus Hirvonen, the driving force on the drums, played precisely and variably as usual. The only drawback was perhaps the fact that the vocals were too far in the background, thus the guitars robbed Niilo Sevänen’s vocal performance of melancholy and expression. Thus the songs could not spread as much intense energy as otherwise usual. But that didn’t detract from the quality of this set and the excellent atmosphere. After just under 1.5 hours, the band said goodbye with “Weighed Down With Sorrow” and sent the fully satisfied Frankfurt fans on their way home in style. It was a bit of a shame that the crowd had to leave the Batschkapp immediately afterwards because of another “event” and were thus denied an harmonious conclusion of the concert.

White Christ
Pale Morning Star
Only One Who Waits
Change Of Heart
And Bells They Toll
The Rapids
The Gale
Mortal Share
Song Of The Dusk
The Primeval Dark
While We Sleep
Weighed Down With Sorrow

Text & Fotos:  Hanzi Herrmann

Hanzi Herrmann ---- festival / concert reviews, live photos, interviews